The frequency-following response, or FFR, is a neurophysiological response to sound that precisely reflects the ongoing dynamics of sound. It can be used to study the integrity and malleability of neural encoding of sound across the lifespan. Sound processing in the brain can be impaired with pathology and enhanced through expertise. The FFR can index linguistic deprivation, autism, concussion, and reading impairment, and can reflect the impact of enrichment with short-term training, bilingualism, and musicianship. Because of this vast potential, interest in the FFR has grown considerably in the decade since our first tutorial. Despite its widespread adoption, there remains a gap in the current knowledge of its analytical potential. This tutorial aims to bridge this gap. Using recording methods we have employed for the last 20 + years, we have explored many analysis strategies. In this tutorial, we review what we have learned and what we think constitutes the most effective ways of capturing what the FFR can tell us. The tutorial covers FFR components (timing, fundamental frequency, harmonics) and factors that influence FFR (stimulus polarity, response averaging, and stimulus presentation/recording jitter). The spotlight is on FFR analyses, including ways to analyze FFR timing (peaks, autocorrelation, phase consistency, cross-phaseogram), magnitude (RMS, SNR, FFT), and fidelity (stimulus-response correlations, response-to-response correlations and response consistency). The wealth of information contained within an FFR recording brings us closer to understanding how the brain reconstructs our sonic world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems